METHODS: We conducted a cross sectional study using 100 samples of archived formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue blocks of invasive ductal carcinoma and stained them with immunohistochemistry for PITX2, ER, PR and HER2. All HER2 with scoring of 2+ were confirmed with chromogenic in-situ hybridization (CISH).
RESULTS: PITX2 protein was expressed in 53% of invasive ductal carcinoma and lack of PITX2 expression in 47%. Univariate analysis revealed a significant association between PITX2 expression with PR (p=0.001), ER (p=0.006), gland formation (p=0.044) and marginal association with molecular subtypes of breast carcinoma (p=0.051). Combined ER and PR expression with PITX2 was also significantly associated (p=0.003) especially in double positive cases. Multivariate analysis showed the most significant association between PITX2 and PR (RR 4.105, 95% CI 1.765-9.547, p=0.001).
CONCLUSION: PITX2 is another potential prognostic marker in breast carcinoma adding significant information to established prognostic factors of ER and PR. The expression of PITX2 together with PR may carry a very good prognosis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included a total of 240 matched cases and controls where subjects were selected from the Malaysian Oral Cancer Database and Tissue Bank System (MOCDTBS). Retinol, α-tocopherol and β-carotene levels and intake were examined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) respectively.
RESULTS: It was found that results from the two methods applied did not correlate, so that further analysis was done using the HPLC method utilising blood serum. Serum levels of retinol and α-tocopherol among cases (0.177±0.081, 1.649±1.670μg/ml) were significantly lower than in controls (0.264±0.137, 3.225±2.054μg/ml) (p<0.005). Although serum level of β-carotene among cases (0.106±0.159 μg/ml) were lower compared to controls (0.134±0.131μg/ml), statistical significance was not observed. Logistic regression analysis showed that high serum level of retinol (OR=0.501, 95% CI=0.254-0.992, p<0.05) and α-tocopherol (OR=0.184, 95% CI=0.091-0.370, p<0.05) was significantly related to lower risk of oral cancer, whereas no relationship was observed between β-carotene and oral cancer risk.
CONCLUSIONS: High serum levels of retinol and α-tocopherol confer protection against oral cancer risk.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 197 participants were randomly assigned to either the 8-week Kuala Lumpur Qigong Trial or control groups in 2010-2011. Measurement taken at baseline and post- intervention included QoL, distress and fatigue. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Kruskal Wallis were used to examine for differences between groups in the measurements.
RESULTS: There were 95 consenting participants in this 8week trial. The adherence rates were 63% for Qigong and 65% for the placebo group. The Qigong group showed significant marginal improvement in Quality of life scores compared to placebo (mean difference=7.3 unit; p=0.036), compared to usual care (mean difference=6.7 unit; p=0.048) on Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy-Breast measure. There were no significant changes between the placebo and usual care groups in fatigue or distress at post intervention (8-week).
CONCLUSIONS: Cancer survivors who participated in the Qigong intervention showed slightly better QOL. Follow up studies are greatly needed to evaluate which subgroups may best benefit from Qigong. With a steep rise of cancer survivors, there is an urgent need to explore and engage more cultural means of physical activity to fight side effects of treatment and for cancer control in developing countries.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 898 students from 21 schools across comprehensive- and partial-SFL states were recruited. SHS exposures and respiratory symptoms were assessed via questionnaire. Prenatal and postnatal SHS exposure information was obtained from parental-completed questionnaire.
RESULTS: The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was: 11.9% ever wheeze, 5.6% current wheeze, 22.3% exercise-induced wheeze, 12.4% nocturnal cough, and 13.1% self-reported asthma. SHS exposure was most frequently reported in restaurants. Hierarchical logistic regression indicates living in a comprehensive-SFL state was not associated with a lower risk of reporting asthma symptoms. SHS exposure in public transport was linked to increased risk for wheeze (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 16.6; 95%confidence interval (CI), 2.69-101.7) and current wheezing (AOR 24.6; 95%CI, 3.53-171.8).
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents continue to be exposed to SHS in a range of public venues in both comprehensive- and partial-SFL states. Respiratory symptoms are common among those reporting SHS exposure on public transportation. Non-compliance with SFL appears to be frequent in many venues across Malaysia and enforcement should be given priority in order to reduce exposure.
AIM: The main purpose of this study was to determine the level of knowledge and attitudes regarding pain among nurses working in tertiary care in a local setting and the factors that may be associated with this.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional research study used a modified version of the Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes Survey (NKAS) regarding pain. Basic demographic data were obtained for further correlation with the level of pain knowledge.
RESULTS: A total of 566 nurses, 34 male and 532 female, volunteered to participate in this study. The response rate (RR) was 76%, with an overall mean percentage score of 42.7±10.9 (range: 5-92.5). The majority of participants were younger nurses below 40 years of age and more than 70% had worked for less than 10 years (6.6±4.45). Up to 92% had never had any formal education in pain management in general. The total mean score of correct answers was 58.6±9.58, with oncology nursing staff scoring a higher percentage when compared with nurses from other general and critical care wards (63.52±9.27, p<0.045). Only 2.5% out of all participants obtained a score of 80% or greater. The majority of the oncology nurses achieved the expected competency level (p<0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings give further support for the universal concern about poor knowledge and attitudes among nurses related to the optimal management of pain. The results indicated that neither number of years working nor age influenced the level of knowledge or attitudes of the practising nurses. Oncology nursing staff consistently scored better than the rest of the cohort. This reflects that clinical experience helps to improve attitudes and knowledge concerning better pain management.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: BCR-ABL positive CML cells resistant to imatinib (K562-R) were developed by overexposure of K562 cell lines to the drug. Cytotoxicity was determined by MTS assays and IC50 values calculated. Apoptosis assays were performed using annexin V-FITC binding assays and analyzed by flow cytometry. Methylation profiles were investigated using methylation specific PCR and sequencing analysis of SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes. Gene expression was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR, and protein expression and phosphorylation of STAT1, 2 and 3 were examined by Western blotting.
RESULTS: The IC50 for imatinib on K562 was 362 nM compared to 3,952 nM for K562-R (p=0.001). Percentage of apoptotic cells in K562 increased upto 50% by increasing the concentration of imatinib, in contrast to only 20% in K562-R (p<0.001). A change from non-methylation of the SOCS-3 gene in K562 to complete methylation in K562-R was observed. Gene expression revealed down- regulation of both SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes in resistant cells. STAT3 was phosphorylated in K562-R but not K562.
CONCLUSIONS: Development of cells resistant to imatinib is feasible by overexposure of the drug to the cells. Activation of STAT3 protein leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation in imatinib resistant BCR-ABL due to DNA methylation of the SOCS-3 gene. Thus SOCS-3 provides a suitable candidate for mechanisms underlying the development of imatinib resistant in CML patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between March 2011 and May 2012, 20 patients were treated with 55 fractions of brachytherapy using tandem and ovoids and underwent post-implant CT scans. The external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) dose was 48.6 Gy in 27 fractions. HDR brachytherapy was delivered to a dose of 21 Gy in three fractions. The ICRU bladder and rectum point doses along with 4 additional rectal points were recorded. The maximum dose (DMax) to rectum was the highest recorded dose at one of these five points. Using the HDR plus 2.6 brachytherapy treatment planning system, the bladder and rectum were retrospectively contoured on the 55 CT datasets. The DVHs for rectum and bladder were calculated and the minimum doses to the highest irradiated 2cc area of rectum and bladder were recorded (D2cc) for all individual fractions. The mean D2cc of rectum was compared to the means of ICRU rectal point and rectal DMax using the Student's t-test. The mean D2cc of bladder was compared with the mean ICRU bladder point using the same statistical test .The total dose, combining EBRT and HDR brachytherapy, were biologically normalized to the conventional 2 Gy/fraction using the linear-quadratic model. (α/β value of 10 Gy for target, 3 Gy for organs at risk).
RESULTS: The total prescribed dose was 77.5 Gy α/β10. The mean dose to the rectum was 4.58 ± 1.22 Gy for D 2cc, 3.76 ± 0.65 Gy at D ICRU and 4.75 ± 1.01 Gy at DMax. The mean rectal D 2cc dose differed significantly from the mean dose calculated at the ICRU reference point (p<0.005); the mean difference was 0.82 Gy (0.48 -1.19 Gy). The mean EQD2 was 68.52 ± 7.24 Gy α/β3 for D 2cc, 61.71 ± 2.77 Gy α/β3 at D ICRU and 69.24 ± 6.02 Gy α/β3 at DMax. The mean ratio of D 2cc rectum to D ICRU rectum was 1.25 and the mean ratio of D 2cc rectum to DMax rectum was 0.98 for all individual fractions. The mean dose to the bladder was 6.00 ± 1.90 Gy for D 2cc and 5.10 ± 2.03 Gy at D ICRU. However, the mean D 2cc dose did not differ significantly from the mean dose calculated at the ICRU reference point (p=0.307); the mean difference was 0.90 Gy (0.49-1.25 Gy). The mean EQD2 was 81.85 ± 13.03 Gy α/β3 for D 2cc and 74.11 ± 19.39 Gy α/β3 at D ICRU. The mean ratio of D 2cc bladder to D ICRU bladder was 1.24. In the majority of applications, the maximum dose point was not the ICRU point. On average, the rectum received 77% and bladder received 92% of the prescribed dose.
CONCLUSIONS: OARs doses assessed by DVH criteria were higher than ICRU point doses. Our data suggest that the estimated dose to the ICRU bladder point may be a reasonable surrogate for the D 2cc and rectal DMax for D 2cc. However, the dose to the ICRU rectal point does not appear to be a reasonable surrogate for the D 2cc.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective study was conducted between July 2012 and December 2013. Stool samples of 59 dyspeptic patients who underwent upper endoscopy were evaluated for H. pylori stool antigen.
RESULTS: From the 59 patients who participated in this study, there were 36 (61%) males and 23 (39%) females. H. pylori was diagnosed in 24 (40.7%) gastric biopsies, 22 (91.7 %) of these being positive for the Atlas H. pylori antigen test. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy were 91.7%, 100%, 100%, 94.6% and 96.6% respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The Atlas H. pylori antigen test is a new non-invasive method which is simple to perform and avails reliable results in a few minutes. Thus it can be the best option for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection due to its high sensitivity and specificity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a single-center, cross-sectional study. A face-to-face interview guided by a structured questionnaire with cancer patients admitted to receive repeated cycles of chemotherapy was conducted. Information collected included chemotherapy-related side effects after last chemotherapy experience, the most worrisome side effects, the side effects overlooked by healthcare professionals and the preferred method, amount and source of receiving related information.
RESULTS: Of 99 patients recruited, 90 participated in this survey (response rate: 90.9%). The majority were in the age range of 45-64 years (73.3%) and female (93.3%). Seventy-five (83.3%) and seventy-one (78.9%) experienced nausea and vomiting, respectively. Both symptoms were selected as two of the most worrisome side effects (16.7% vs. 33.3%). Other common and worrisome side effects were hair loss and loss of appetite. Symptoms caused by peripheral neuropathies were perceived as the major symptoms being overlooked (6.7%). Most patients demanded information about side effects (60.0%) and they would like to receive as much information as possible (86.7%). Oral conversation (83.3%) remained as the preferred method and the clinical pharmacist was preferred by 46.7% of patients as the educator in this aspect.
CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of chemotherapy-related side effects among local patients is of concern. Findings of their perceptions and informational needs may serve as a valuable guide for clinical pharmacists to help in side effect management in Malaysia.